Retailers, consumers and prices
After their abysmal 2009, nearly half of all U.S. retail chains plan on at least maintaining their number of stores this year, according to a survey released on Thursday by consultancy KPMG and industry group the National Retail Federation.
Far more retailers were planning to open stores than close them, according to the survey of 310 retail industry executives, representing 138 companies, conducted late last year.
Anecdotally, those intentions seem to be playing out, based on what we’ve been hearing from CEOs on conference calls and webcasts.
Most companies have said they plan to open new stores this year, or were at least considering it. Tiffany, for example, is planning to open another 17 locations worldwide in 2010 (it now has 220). And Saks is opening more of its off price Off 5th stores but is closing its Portland store and could shut others.
Check out more retail doors closing.
Jones Apparel, which owns Nine West, Jones New York and other brands, said it will close 240 retail stores this year and next.
The company said the move will save it $4 million this year, $15 million next year and $21 million in 2011.
Saving money is the strategy many retailers have adopted over the past year as the recession clobbers sales.
Check out the ten largest U.S. retailers.
The National Retail Federation’s STORES magazine is out with its annual ranking of the top 100 retailers.
The list shows that U.S. consumers have been focused on bargains and basic necessities, such as food and medicine. Wal-Mart tops the lineup, followed by Kroger and Costco. Home Depot fell from No. 2 in 2007 to the fourth spot in 2008 as many shoppers decided to cut back on costly home-improvement projects.
Check Out Ann Taylor’s huge quarterly loss.
The clothing retailer, which operates its namesake stores and Ann Taylor Loft stores, posted a loss that was almost twice as big as Wall Street analysts had expected. The company is also shuttering 46 more stores as working women curb their shopping urges amid rising unemployment and the unabating financial crisis.
Ann Taylor’s loss came a day after top U.S. retailers posted February same-store sales numbers. While the overall result was boosted by Wal-Mart, several apparel chains and department stores are still bleeding sales as consumers continue to spend their money on basics such as food.
Citing severe liquidity issues and tighter credit conditions from its vendors, the electronics retailer said it would close 155 stores by election day. Store closing sales begin on Nov. 5, the company said. Circuit City, the No. 2 electronics retailer, also said it would exit 12 markets in the United States as part of its plan.
Circuit City has about 1,500 stores in the United States and Canada.
The announcement follows a prolonged earnings and sales slump for Circuit City, which had said earlier that it would consider all options including shutting some stores to reverse its fortunes. Last week, the company received a notice from the New York Stock Exchange that it does not comply with the exchange’s stock-price standard. Its shares were trading at less than 50 cents on Monday.